On the final day of their annual Convocation Methodist Deacons will take part in an act of rededication. Below is an extract from the order of service which will be followed:
Sisters and brothers we have been called by God to a holy ministry within the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we were ordained we pledged ourselves to that calling and the Church, with prayer and the laying on of hands, called upon the Holy Spirit to keep us faithful in it. Today, in this act of rededication, we renew our obedience and trust and ask afresh to be sustained by the power of God.
Let us pray:
Let us give thanks to God for the privilege of this ministry to which we have been called, within the fellowship of the Order:
For Gods sovereign love promising to make all things new;
for the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for all the world;
for his abundant grace, our example and hope;
for the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the people of God and for the church which has nourished and sustained us;
for the call which we heard and the ways in which it has since been renewed;
for the power of Christs gospel to search us out and reclaim us when we have lost the way;
for the ways in which God has sustained us in times of doubt and difficulty and enabled us to learn from weakness and failure;
for the joy of serving others in the name of Christ;
for the privilege of sharing in the pilgrimage of faith and the ministry of others;
for what we have received from those we sought to serve.
Pause for reflection and silent thanksgiving.
Let us confess before God our inadequacy, our failures in love and faith, our neglect in those things that matter most in our ministry and in our membership of the Order. We review before God: our stewardship of time and gifts;
our leadership and witness to the gospel of Gods judgement and grace;
our responsibility to challenge and enable the mission and service of the church;
our response to those in need;
our own devotional life in communion with God and our readiness to travel the way of the cross;
our willingness to nurture the fellowship of the Order in prayer and mutual care;
our commitment to the Rule of Life;
our care for family and friends, especially those who depend on us.
We ask that we may know ourselves as we are known by God, that the Holy Spirit may lead us to repentance, making us aware of the forgiveness in Christ, restoring our relationship with God and with each other.
Pause for personal reflection
Let those of us who are ordained Deacons stand and renew the affirmations and promises we made at our ordination. Sisters and brothers, do you continue to believe that God has called you to be a Deacon in the universal Church?
Do you continue to accept the Holy Scriptures as revealing all things necessary for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord?
Do you continue to believe the doctrines of the Christian faith as this Church has received them?
Do you continue to accept the discipline of this Church, working together with your brothers and sisters in the church?
Will you continue to be faithful in worship, in prayer, in the reading of the Holy Scriptures and in those studies which will equip you for ministry?
The Probationer Deacons stand
Sisters and brothers, we believe, with you, that you have also been called to share in this ministry and in the responsibilities and privileges of the fellowship of the Order. That conviction is now being tested as you undertake the duties of diaconal ministry as a Deacon, sharing in its disappointments and satisfactions, its sorrows and its joys.
Do you continue to believe that you are called by God to the ministry of a Deacon within his Church?
Will you continue to devote yourself to preparation for that ministry and be faithful in the work God has already given you to do?
The Student Deacons stand.
Brothers and sisters, we believe, with you, that you have also been called to share in this ministry and in the responsibilities and privileges of the fellowship of the Order.
Will you continue to devote yourself to prayer, study and preparation and in the testing of that call?
Members, Probationers and Students together.
O Lord our God, we praise you for the service to which we are called and for the fellowship of the Order. Having heard your call, we offer ourselves to one another, to the discipline and obedience of this order and to the Church.
We give ourselves to you.
Let all of us here present commit our ministry to God:
Grant to us and to all your people, the grace to fulfil our calling. Renew us in the fire of your love, that we may serve you in your Church and in the life of the world to the end of our days, seeking only your glory and the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.